6 Effective PR Ideas for Restaurants

Restaurant marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are six ways to promote your restaurant.
Amanda Hamel

If you're a small business owner, then you know that it can be difficult to keep your doors open. In addition to the cost of food and labor, all kinds of expenses like rent and taxes need to be covered each month. You also don't want to spend money on marketing if your business isn't doing well—and it's not always easy finding ways to get new customers without having any money at all! So how do restaurants find ways to promote themselves without breaking the bank?

Get active on social media.

You can’t be everywhere at once, so you have to make sure that your restaurant is visible and well-known. One way to do this is by getting on social media.

Create a social media presence, including Twitter and Facebook accounts that broadcast specials or new menu items, so potential customers can quickly see them online before they make their way into the restaurant itself. You might also consider creating a website that highlights the best parts of your restaurant experience as well as offers additional information about events going on around town. This is especially useful for those who want more than just Yelp reviews!

Social media allows you to connect with your guests and share information about what they are doing in the community—and how much it means to them! You can use this as an opportunity for promotion, too: if there's something special going on at your place, like a new menu item or an upcoming event (like Christmas), then post about it online so people know about it before they go out of town!

Engage with local media.

One of the best things you can do for your restaurant is to engage with local media. Know your local media and how they work. Be prepared to give them a good story, but also be prepared to follow up on it. For example, if you have a new menu item that’s been receiving tons of buzz on social media, reach out and let them know what happened when people tried it out at their restaurant or visited your establishment—and whether or not they liked it!

Think about what makes your business unique from other food establishments in town (or even outside of town). If there’s nothing special about what you offer aside from the fact that it’s delicious food served quickly without pretense or fussiness, then perhaps focusing on how much better than others can offer will help drive traffic into your doors!

Host an event.

Hosting an event is another great way to get people talking about your restaurant. It can be held at your restaurant or it could take place at a venue that's close by. The sky’s the limit! Events are fun and exciting, but they do have their challenges: planning, organizing, and coordinating everything takes time, energy, and money—and you need to make sure that all of those things are worth it for the event itself (and not just for any publicity).

The good news is that there are many ways to host an effective event: from simple wine tastings with snacks provided by the restaurant itself; through multi-course meals with live music; up to complete banquets with entertainment included!

Build a newsletter and blog.

A newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your customers, and it's an easy way to get them interested in your business. If they like what they see, they'll be more likely to come back and try out the new menu items or specials that are on offer at their favorite restaurant.

A blog can also be an effective way of getting people interested in what you have going on at your restaurant. It's important not only for potential customers but also for existing ones—they might want updates on things like opening hours, new menus, or specials (or even just useful tips). 

Form a relationship with the community

It’s important to have a strong connection with your customers, so you can build trust and loyalty. You can do this by speaking directly to them on social media, asking for their opinions on new menus or features, or even hosting events in your restaurant that bring people together. If you want to build up a stronger connection between your business and residents, consider forming partnerships with organizations in the community like schools or churches. It’s also important that they feel like they can trust you as an organization—and making sure they know how much it would mean if they had any suggestions might help here!

Partner with other businesses.

If you're looking to expand your business, partnering with other companies can be a great way to get exposure and reach new customers. For example, if a local high school wants to partner with your restaurant on their fundraising efforts by selling tickets for an upcoming football game, then it would make sense for them to hold their fundraiser at your restaurant.

It's also important that whatever partnerships you do form are mutually beneficial ones—it's not fair for one person or organization (the high school) to benefit from another person or organization (your restaurant) without any kind of compensation being offered back in return. For example: if the high school was willing to donate some tickets at a cost but didn't want anything else done in exchange for these donations? That might not be so good! To avoid this type of situation happening again down the road when negotiating another partnership agreement later down the line.

There are lots of ways to use PR for restaurants that don't cost anything but time, and can have a positive impact on your business!

You don't need a PR agency to get your message out there. Instead of spending money on expensive ads or hiring a publicist, you can use free resources like social media and email marketing to promote your restaurant. If you're not sure where to start, here are some tips:

  • Create a positive experience for your guests by sharing stories about what makes the place great! Be authentic about what makes it unique and interesting (e.g., "We have free wi-fi at every table" or "Our baristas are always friendly"). This will attract more people who want to eat/drink there again in the future—and those people will tell their friends!
  • Use Facebook ads as an opportunity to share photos from local events that happened at your restaurant (e.g., food festivals). The more people see these pictures on Facebook, the better chance they'll visit the next time they're in town!

Restaurants are a great place to promote your brand. The food industry is especially well-known for its publicity opportunities, with opportunities like TV and radio programs and in-restaurant events. But even if you don’t have cameras or live audience members at your disposal, there are still ways to get your name out there!

With all of these tips, you should be able to create a PR campaign that will work for your restaurant. The key is to think like a journalist and write in your voice.